After an incredible eight-week run of A Raisin In the Sun, we owe a huge thank you to our incredible cast and creative team for making the production such a hit. We recently chatted with Calvin Thompson (Walter Lee Younger), who told us a bit about his theatre idols, manifold artistic talents, vision for the future of theatregoers, and more.
Calvin: Aiken, South Carolina.
TW: Home now?
Calvin: Los Angeles and New York.
TW: Who are your theatre idols?
Calvin: People who I admire are Clinton Turner Davis, Phylicia Rashad, James Earl Jones, and Andre Holland.
Theatreworks: Were you ever totally miscast for a role?
Calvin: Every role that I have performed has thankfully been for me.
TW: What would you be doing if you weren't an actor?
Calvin: I was meant to be an artist and have many other outlets such as writing, illustrating, and playing music. Being an actor is winning... for now.
TW: Bucket-list role?
Calvin: Something that I’d originate. When the time comes, also Troy from Fences. Walter Lee has been checked off!
TW: What's one thing we should be doing to foster the next generation of theatregoers?
Calvin: We need more diversity and inclusion in theatre, and a broadening of the voices of stories being told.
TW: Which words or phrases do you most overuse?
Calvin: “Ya know?” My mom gets on me about overusing it!!!
TW: What do you consider your greatest achievement?
Calvin: Influencing and reaching our youth and next generation of artists, especially young black men who aspire to participate in the arts.
TW: Who are your favorite writers or playwrights?
Calvin: Paulo Coehlo, August Wilson, and Harrison Rivers.
When and where were you happiest?
Calvin: Near bodies of Water, in the Sun, doing my Craft, living in my Purpose.
TW: What are you listening to on Spotify (iTunes, Sirius, etc)?
Calvin: I’m old school! I’ve been listening to a lot of jazz lately: Nancy Wilson, Sarah Vaughan, and John Coltrane.
Check out the video below to watch a performance of "On Green Dolphin Street" by jazz legend John Coltrane, and don't miss our other Raisin In the Sun Q&As with Caren Blackmore (Ruth Younger), sound designer David Samba, costume designer Naila Aladdin Sanders, and scenic designer Lawrence Moten.